Barfly: Wayans, wine, and…more wine

Celeb Sighting: Keenan Ivory Wayans was spotted dining at Sangria, Hermosa Ave, HB last week. Apparently the oldest of the Wayans brothers looks very young in person. It’s because of that clean shaven head I’m told…

Promo Change: While reading my fellow foody Richard Foss’s adventures in dining the other day, I was inspired by his piece on the Second Story restaurant at The Belamar Hotel, Valley/Ardmore, behind the Chevron station on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans. In the article he mentioned a half-price by-the-glass wine promo that goes on Wednesday nights, and it just so happened that on the following Wednesday I was driving a friend to LAX for a red-eye flight back east and so it made sense for us to check it out. We were a bit put off, I have to say, when we walked into the lobby and the person behind the front desk didn’t even look up to greet us. No, “Hi! Welcome! How are you? Here for the restaurant?” Nope. Nothing. We had to get her attention, at which point she nodded her head toward the staircase. I guess she was super busy with all the non-people around us. So we get upstairs and have a similar problem with being recognized and attended to at a table, so finally we moved to the bar and, wouldn’t you know it, the bartender says they don’t do the promo on Wednesdays anymore; since the new year they have switched it to Fridays. At that point we were ready to move on: the experience had not been good thus far. Sensing our uneasiness, the bartender went in the back for a bit, then came out and told us she spoke with the manager and he okayed her to honor the promo since we came in for it. This was absolutely the right thing to do. She redeemed the place for us and so we stayed and made a nice meal of apps and a shared entrée. The wine promo is a good deal and I can’t figure out why they switched it to Fridays; one would think they would need to draw diners during the week – but I’m sure they’ve done their research. Call (310) 750-0300 for more info and save the date, Tuesday, May 17, for a very special wine dinner featuring the wines of Gloria Ferrer and benefiting Children with Autism Friends of Angels Camps. $64 per person, five-course menu, live music, art showcase and silent auction…

Put That in Your Croissant and Smoke it Frenchy: I recently got some important info from my friend Phil Ludwig, the Cork Dork who aids in the weekly 6 p.m. Monday wine tastings at Second City Bistro, El Segundo. Apparently, after 200 plus years of trying, it has been officially announced that in 2010 the United States out drank the French and we are currently the largest annual wine consumers in the world. Now we must all do our part to maintain this title! There are many weekly wine tastings around the South Bay including Mondays at Second City Bistro, Mondays at Café Pierre, MB, Tuesdays at Zazou, Riviera Village, RB, daily at Sepulveda Wine Company, Sepulveda, MB, 2 to 7 p.m., daily at Friends of the Vine, Avienda del Norte, RB, Tuesday through Saturday at Bacchus, Manhattan Ave, Thursdays at The Bottle Inn, 22nd Street, HB, MB, Bristol Farms, Rosecrans, MB, call (310) 643-5529 for times, Fleming’s, Rosecrans, MB, call (310) 643-9911 for times, and many more. Ask for it at your favorite place; they may want to join the club and help keep us one step ahead of our froggy friends. …

ArgenTINian!: A few years ago I held a “deck sale” which is like a garage/yard sale but was on my deck in downtown HB. Of course my compatriot was a fellow resto girl and her boyfriend, now husband. We were discussing – surprise – wine and how it differs from country to country. She said something about a wine they had that was amazing; she couldn’t remember the name but she knew it was “Armenian,” to which her beau corrected, in quite a stern manner, “ArgenTINian!” We all had a good laugh because after all, when do you hear about Armenian wine, right? Well this week as I was paging through my Time magazine I came across this little tidbit: “6100 – Age, in years of the world’s oldest known winery recently discovered in a cave in Armenia.” that’s right Brian, Cristi wasn’t as far off as we had thought!

Questions? Comments? Contact DebL at BarflyDebL@aol.com. ER

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